Thursday, March 03, 2005

What's wrong with Indian Politics?

It’s not a pretty sight. Or should I say – it’s pretty shameless. What we have seen happen in Goa and Jharkhand and about to see in Bihar is not at all democracy. Even a novice to Indian politics would be able to point out what’s wrong – and who is doing the wrong –and what should be done to correct that wrong. It’s not that hard really, just a matter of doing your job. Here are the basic rules of the game.

- The governor is a non-partisan person i.e. he does not belong to a party. He is not answerable to anybody – except the President of the Republic of India.

- The governor should talk to all the leaders before making a decision. Not just the leaders who he (or his boss) wants to invite to form a government.

- He should be a man (or a woman) who should be able to do the math. If it’s a 81 seat parliament and there are 41 members who say that they are forming a coalition – and are ready to provide the proof in writing – then they become the majority.

and lastly:

- He should be able to think. He should not give 20 days to prove a simple majority. He should know that in 20 days, Bill Gates can buy India, if he wanted to.

That’s it. It’s that simple. But then you would say – we know this. I agree. It’s not that hard to not know all of this. I am writing; simply because, I just cannot sit back and watch this drama unfold. Not any longer, I mean.

We are witnessing some unusual things – and I think that things are still not totally out of control. We can address the problem and do something to correct it. To do that lets understand where the trouble is and what we should do.

Here’s my list.

  • There is something inherently wrong with politics. Especially in India. Leaders make it a habit to be in power. (I have a problem with the word ‘power’ itself – but more on that later). When they are voted out, they don’t accept the decision of the masses and scramble to get back their chair. Why do they do this? Because, I think, that they are good in nothing else – and they know that as well. Barring a few, we don’t have economist, lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers and academicians as politicians. Once they are voted out of power, they just simply cannot find a job. And that leads very many to try tooth and nails to be around people who are in power and grab something. In the United States, people are employed as advisors, professors – and some others just relax and write books about their experiences after being in power.
  • Put a cap on how many times you can be minister/chief-minister/any political office. You should be able to represent your people as many times as you want, but cannot hold an office for more than 2 – maybe 3 terms. Take Buta Singh. If he cannot be given a suitable ministry – he was handed the job of being the governor of Bihar! It was just a matter of accommodating somebody somewhere.
  • We should also have minimum criteria about the educational qualification of the candidates. Actually, on second thoughts, it’s very hard to implement this rule. What’s to say that you cannot have a Munna Bhai produce a certificate from IIT saying that he is a graduate. But nonetheless, we should have this rule. People should understand that a certain minimum is required to do this job.
  • Remove the possibility of horse-trading. Declare your allegiance before the elections. A very important point if you want to remove opportunists from the scene. The election commissioner should have this in writing from all the parties involved. Even independent candidates. Everybody involved should understand that forming a government is not the name of the game. It’s not the end result. The end result is that you are contesting an election to be a representative of the people of that area. You are doing this because you are interested in their upliftment and the development of that area. There are people, cunning people, who have the art of joining camps that are in power and are never out of a ministerial position. Ram Bilas Paswan comes to the mind.
  • Remove the possibility of ‘adding portfolios’ at the drop of a hat. This has to be the number one most important thing on the ‘to do’ list. When there is a Ministry of Mines and Minerals, what’s the need of a Ministry of Coal? Here are some other ministries that defy explanation. Food Processing Industries, Panchayati Raj, Small Scale Industries, Tribal Affairs, Water Resources, Statistics and Programme Implementation, NRI.Ministry, Urban Development, Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation. I can assure the government needs a Ministry of Efficiency and another Ministry of Making more Ministries. This is at the national level – let’s not even go to the state level. Things become really sad there. There should be 7 to 10 main ministries, with secretaries and additional secretaries dealing with other pressing issues. Want to have another ministry – both houses of parliament should vote instead of just adding another name in the long list hoping nobody notices.
  • Stop the possibility of taking up a job at the state level after you are installed as a federal level minister. A minister is handed a particular job because he is capable to handle that job well. Significant recourses are invested in this effort. There should be a rule of not being able to switch jobs with the ease Shibu Soren just demonstrated.
  • Put a time limit before which you should prove your majority – say 2 days after you are asked by the governor. And don’t swear in a CM before he can prove a majority. People tend to fallow a man with a marigold garland around his neck.

These are just very few, very important steps that we should take if we want the world, and more importantly, us Indians, to keep believing in the system. Stop this farce if you want a democracy. Otherwise we would rather have the Chinese way of governance.

Please add to this list. I would like to have a list that is as comprehensible as possible and then take it to the next level. I dont know what that next level might be.

1 comment:

Coal Scam said...

Nothing is Wrong with the Politics. it is the Indian Voter who have not Understand their responsibility.